Marble has been the premier building material for many of the most beautiful projects throughout history, from Ancient Greek statues to Renaissance Cathedrals to the floors of Charles De Gaulle International Airport in Paris. Marble has a natural association with luxury and tradition because of its raw beauty and delicate veining. When you walk into a hotel lobby clad in marble tiles, you immediately notice an air of elegance and a legacy of success, and the use of marble for your project can bring this same atmosphere into your own home.
Composed mostly of calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate), marble is relatively hard, though not quite as hard as granite. Marble is therefore more susceptible to staining, acid etching, and scratching, but experts will tell you that these accumulated changes (known as a “patina”) only add another layer of beauty and history to the stone. For many people, the first color that comes to mind when thinking about marble is the iconic white Carrara marble from Italy; however, marbles are actually quarried all over the world and are available in an unrivaled selection of varying colors and patterns.
The Danby marble quarry in Vermont is the oldest operating commercial quarry in the United States today and produces some of the densest marble in the world, making it ideal for kitchens and outdoor applications. This marble has been used in such places as the United States Supreme Court building, Arlington National Cemetery, and, more recently, the Detroit Institute of Art.
Marble is available in a multitude of finishes, the most common of which are polished or honed, although more rustic or antique finishes are also available. The reflective gleam of light off of a polished marble floor creates a refined look and a classical elegance that is always in style. In contract, honed marbles offer a slightly more relaxed feel with a matte finish that softens their impact while still retaining their sophisticated style. Meanwhile, tumbled or brushed marbles provide a rustic look reminiscent of ancient architecture.
Marble is available in tiles, trim, and slabs, which can all be combined in unique ways to highlight any project.